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Here Are Some Things New Yorkers Should Be More Afraid of Than Ebola

You are not going to get Ebola on the subway. You are not going to get Ebola in your Uber. You are not going to get Ebola in a semi-ironic Williamsburg bowling alley. You are almost definitely not going to get Ebola at all.

Dr. Craig Spencer and his quarantined friends aside, “There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed,” said soothing dad Bill de Blasio last night. “Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract.” Walking down the street in New York City every day is far riskier. Even city dwellers’ most common irrational fears — crashing scaffolding, crashing Seamless — are more likely than contracting Ebola, because at least they’ve happened to more than one person. Using that complex math, we’ve determined that the following things, however unlikely, are still worth fearing over Ebola.

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How Conservatives Justify Poll Taxes

During the Obama era, the Republican Party has made the modern revival of the poll tax a point of party dogma. Direct poll taxes have been illegal for 50 years, but the GOP has discovered a workaround. They have passed laws requiring photo identification, forcing prospective voters who lack them, who are disproportionately Democratic and nonwhite, to undergo the extra time and inconvenience of acquiring them. They have likewise fought to reduce early voting hours on nights and weekends, thereby making it harder for wage workers and single parents, who have less flexibility at work and in their child care, to cast a ballot.

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6 Actually Interesting Things You Missed in Thursday’s Midterm Races

The midterm elections are in 11 days, and no one cares. Just 15 percent of Americans have said they’re following the races very closely, what with Ebola now in New York City and ISIS abroad, not to mention a new season of Scandal. (Young people are even worse. Damn Instagram.)

For those without the time or untamable wonkiness necessary to track polls for, say, an Iowa Senate race, Intelligencer is rounding up the important, telling, or otherwise absurd moments from the previous long day on the campaign trail. So at least you’ll know these people’s names when they’re running our country next year.

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What’s This News About a Tiny, Ecofriendly Nuclear Power-Plant That Could Save the World?

A few days ago, Lockheed Martin announced progress on a design for a nuclear power-plant that can be built at small scale, maybe tractor-trailer-size, and will produce almost no radioactive waste. Lockheed’s team is saying it expects to have a workable reactor within five years. If that were to happen, the world would literally change: The fossil-fuel business would immediately be halfway to obsolescence because electrical power would soon become (as they used to say in the '50s) “too cheap to meter.” Coal would become an antique fuel, used in the odd pizza oven; super-cheap electricity would lead us to retire most gasoline and diesel engines. Carbon pollution, not to mention the politics of oil-producing countries, would become pretty nearly trivial problems.

How it might work. »

Donald Trump Blames Obama for NYC Ebola Case, Calls for His Resignation

After New York City doctor Craig Spencer tested positive for Ebola on Thursday evening, many amateur epidemiologists took to Twitter to condemn the Doctors Without Borders physician who volunteered to care for Ebola patients in Guinea. Meanwhile, Nick Muzin, deputy chief of staff to Senator Ted Cruz, suggested the White House was to blame, tweeting, "Before Obamacare, there had never been a confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S." After much mockery, he called the deleted tweet a "bad joke," but in a Twitter rant Donald Trump suggested Muzin didn't go far enough. "If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa,has Ebola,then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!" he declared.

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Everything We Know About New York City’s Ebola Patient

On Thursday, Dr. Craig Spencer, who had been working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients in Guinea, was rushed to New York's Bellevue Hospital with a high fever. A few hours later, tests confirmed the worst: Spencer has Ebola, making him the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States, and the first diagnosed outside of Texas. So far, the situation appears to be under control: Bellevue has been preparing for weeks, Spencer was hospitalized shortly after becoming symptomatic, and officials are already tracking down anyone he may have come into contact with. However, the fact that he went to a bowling alley, took a taxi, and rode the subway on Wednesday night is not likely to calm those already on edge about the virus. Here's what we know about the situation so far.

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